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ACTT Workshop: Idaho
The I-84 Corridor Improvements Project
Why ACTT, Executive Summary, and Workshop Details
- ACTT provides a fresh outlook by bringing national experts to your planning table.
- ACTT introduces innovations that have been tested elsewhere.
- ACTT saves time: according to FHWA's ACTT II report, published in March 2005, "most agencies have found ways to slice construction time by 30 percent or more."
- ACTT saves money: ACTT suggestions enabled New Jersey to reduce its budget for the Route 46 bridge project from $10 million to $7.2 million.
- ACTT works for you and your customer!
How do I ACTT?
- Select a corridor: ACTT is most helpful when applied during the project development phase.
- Make a workshop proposal to ACTT team members, and submit a copy of your proposal to the FHWA Division Office. Include details on the project corridor, timeline and goals.
- Hold a pre-workshop meeting with the ACTT management team.
- Select a meeting site, and coordinate workshop details with the FHWA Division Office.
- Host the workshop.
- Draft a report for submittal to FHWA.
- Incorporate ACTT into project operations.
A mantra frequently used by the highway community — "Get In, Stay In, Get Out, Stay Out" — has become popular because of the need to reduce traffic congestion caused by work zones. The slogan also is relevant to the reconstruction of bridges because of the pivotal roles that they serve in most transportation systems and the resulting need to avoid long construction times.
Source: Vasant Mistry and Al Mangus, "Get In, Stay In, Get Out, Stay Out,"
Public Roads, November/December 2006, Federal Highway Administration,
U.S. Department of Transportation, http://www.tfhrc.gov/pubrds/06nov/01.htm.
As this quote shows, issues such as accelerating construction and reducing work zone congestion are taking center stage for departments of transportation (DOTs) across the Nation. These concerns are even more evident when a project involves replacing one or more major bridge structures.
Getting in, staying in, getting out and staying out is especially relevant for the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) as it prepares to reconstruct 22 miles of Interstate 84 (I-84) in Ada and Canyon Counties.
The focus of the I-84 Corridor Improvements Project is to minimize construction time and costs for the reconstruction of I-84 from the junction with State Highway (SH)-44 in Caldwell to Five Mile Road in Boise and from the Orchard Street Interchange to the Isaac's Canyon Interchange, one of the most congested and heavily traveled corridors in the State. The DOT plans to reconstruct numerous interchanges along the corridor, all of which are substandard and severely lacking capacity.
Knowing this, ITD approached the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) about hosting an Accelerated Construction Technology Transfer (ACTT) workshop for the I-84 Corridor Improvements Project.
A planning meeting that included representatives from FHWA, ITD and Connecting Idaho Partners (CIP) was held on November 7, 2006 in Boise, Idaho. Together, the planning team identified the following skill sets for the I-84 Corridor Improvements Project workshop:
- Pavements/Geotechnical & Materials.
- Innovative Contracting.
- Maintenance & Operations.
- Public Relations.
- Roadway Design/Utilities.
- Structures/Railroad Coordination.
- Traffic Operations/ITS.
Each team focused on how the ACTT process applied to their area of expertise. The group as a whole searched for methods and measures to help the ITD achieve its goal of reducing the construction timeframe from 12 to 6 years.
As the workshop progressed, each team summarized their thoughts and narrowed them down to a list of priority recommendations. On the final day, each skill set presented their suggestions to the conference attendees. Now that the workshop is complete, ITD will evaluate the various recommendations and decide which ideas should be implemented as part of the project.
1. Workshop Details
1.1. Opening Session
The I-84 Corridor Improvements Project ACTT workshop took place February 13-15, 2007, at the Washington Group International Offices in Boise, Idaho.
FHWA Construction & System Preservation Engineer Chris Schneider moderated the opening session. ITD Director Pam Lowe, FHWA Oregon Division Administrator David Cox and FHWA Idaho Field Operations Engineer Edwin Johnson welcomed participants, after which workshop attendees introduced themselves. Dave Butzier from CIP provided a project overview, and the group toured the project corridor.
1.2. Workshop Process
The ITD workshop followed the traditional ACTT process. On Wednesday morning, the ACTT management team discussed the brainstorming process with workshop attendees. The skill sets then broke apart to discuss the project and brainstorm preliminary ideas, reconvening before lunch to share initial thoughts. After lunch, the skill sets continued their work, intermingling with other teams to ask questions and share ideas. The teams spent the remainder of the afternoon preparing final recommendations for presentation to the group on Thursday morning.
1.3. Skill Set Goals
Participants in each skill set had an established group of goals that was unique to their subject area:
- Minimize road user delay and inconvenience.
- Limit the duration of lane closures.
- Explore innovative construction methods and sequencing to minimize cost and construction timeframe.
- Explore partnering as a means of reducing time and cost.
- Ensure safety.
Pavements/Geotechnical & Materials
- Explore innovative materials and methods that allow for faster construction.
- Explore new material testing methods to expedite turnaround times for material acceptance.
- Design to minimize maintenance.
- Incorporate design and materials resistant to rutting and studded tire wear.
- Design for a 50-year service life.
- Consider recycling existing materials.
- Consider performance specifications that will give contractor the flexibility to use innovation.
- Explore options to advance projects to construction prior to 100 percent plan specification & estimate (PS&E).
- Consider multiple contract packages versus larger contracts to expedite construction.
- Evaluate use of incentives such as A-plus-B and A-plus-B-plus-C bidding as well as no-excuse bonuses.
- Consider incentives for time savings.
Maintenance & Operations
- Seek out high performance transportation improvements that have a minimum 40-year design life.
- Identify winter service, traffic operations and preventative maintenance strategies for the I-84 corridor.
- Minimize long-term operations and maintenance costs.
- Identify project stakeholders.
- Recommend ways to partner with local entities.
- Define key marketing tactics for the I-84 campaign.
- Determine the most effective means for informing both local communities and the traveling public about the project before, during and after construction.
- Promote both internal and external communication.
- Meet design standards.
- Provide flexibility for the future.
- Promote early utility clearance.
- Minimize traffic disruptions.
- Begin construction in 2007.
- Reduce the duration of construction.
- Minimize cost.
- Maintain quality.
- Evaluate bridge types and options to expedite construction.
- Use prefabricated components where practical.
- Use high performance materials where practical.
- Utilize advance construction techniques to accelerate the project.
- Consider options to expedite railroad agreements for crossings and encroachments.
- Consider aesthetic themes that reflect the character of the corridor.
- Consider maintenance of traffic (MOT) options to minimize disruptions to traffic.
- Consider parallel/alternative detour routes to facilitate traffic movement.
- Maintain clear, well-signed traffic patterns.
- Ensure safety for contractors and travelers, including bike and pedestrian traffic.
- Maintain access for businesses and residents throughout construction.
- Anticipate and develop traffic plans for major traffic-generating events.
- Utilize smart work zones/ITS.
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